British and Irish Lions: Rob Kearney an injury worry ahead of Western Force clash
Last Updated: June 3, 2013 1:01pm
British and Irish Lions full-back Rob Kearney has emerged as an early injury concern on their tour of Australia.
A scan has revealed the Leinster and Ireland star has a hamstring tear and he will receive medical attention for the next week.
"He's a little bit of a concern for us at the moment," said head coach Warren Gatland. "We scanned him in Hong Kong and it came back as a grade one tear. We are going to see how he responds [to treatment], so we've got to be prepared that it might not heal as quickly as we would like.
"We will see how Rob progresses, but it looks a little bit concerning at this stage."
Leigh Halfpenny, Kearney's rival for the No 15 shirt, makes his first start for the Lions against Western Force this Wednesday. Scotland duo Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland can also provide cover.
Gatland will continue to keep an eye on tour captain Sam Warburton, who is nursing a knee injury.
"We've said that we were going to keep him out of training for about five days after he had that injection. After Wednesday, Sam will come and train with come and train with us over the next couple of days, and then put himself into contention for selection for Saturday."
Relive the British & Irish Lions put 116 points past Western Australia in the 2001 Tour clash in Perth.
Kearney's Ireland team-mate Brian O'Driscoll will captain the side in their second tour match, 12 years after scoring against Western Australia in a 116-10 thrashing - a record Lions win.
Comparing the two visits Down Under, he said: "Pulling on the jersey for the first time was a very special moment for me and something I will always remember. But it is one thing pulling the jersey on, and it's another thing winning, and that is the mentality we've got across the squad.
"I haven't lost any of the buzz for the feeling of being involved. It's a very special place to be."